Is Revolut Available in Canada? Nope, But We’ve Found Great Alternatives

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 09 Aug 2023

Revolut logo on the laptop screen

From the heart of the UK to over 30 countries worldwide, Revolut’s incredible growth story has attracted more than 30 million customers. But what about its footprint in Canada? To answer swiftly, as of now, Revolut is not available in Canada. The question that naturally follows is, why did such a major player retreat from the Canadian market and what alternatives do Canadians have in its absence? In this article, we’ll unpack Revolut’s journey in Canada, the challenges leading to its withdrawal, and explore other robust digital banking solutions available. 

Revolut left Canada in 2021

UK-based fintech startup Revolut made its foray into the Canadian market in 2019, initially offering a simple prepaid card service to its beta users. Despite this entry, the comprehensive range of services that Revolut is known for in other markets—like low-cost currency exchange, commission-free stock trading, and cryptocurrency capabilities—were not part of the Canadian offering. As a result, the full official launch that was eagerly anticipated by users and the wider market following the beta phase never came to fruition.

In 2021, Revolut made the decision to discontinue its services in Canada. According to BetaKit, this decision was driven by the challenges Revolut faced in delivering its full suite of services in Canada. Although the company had made inroads into the Canadian market, it struggled with significant obstacles such as the complexity of securing a banking license and stiff competition from well-established Canadian banks, as well as local fintech startups such as KOHO and Wealthsimple.

Despite these setbacks, Revolut remains hopeful about its future in Canada. In its official statement on Twitter, the company expressed a desire to return to the Canadian market once they are better equipped to provide the full spectrum of their services to Canadian users.

Bridging the Gap: Alternatives to Revolut in Canada

Revolut’s departure from Canada may have left you questioning your options. Don’t worry, Canada’s fintech scene has got you covered! Let’s directly compare Revolut’s prime offerings – prepaid cards, international money transfers, and stock/crypto trading – with some of Canada’s leading services. We’re here to help you navigate the alternatives and find your perfect financial match!

Prepaid Card

Revolut’s prepaid card is a versatile financial tool that grants users the ability to manage their money digitally, offering a range of services from spending categorization to freezing and unfreezing the card instantly. It shines particularly in the realm of international transactions, as the card supports over 150 currencies and allows users to spend abroad at the real exchange rate without hidden fees.

Our Favourite Alternative For Canadians: KOHO

KOHO is a Canadian fintech company offering a prepaid Mastercard card and an integrated app. Like Revolut, KOHO offers real-time insights into spending, instant cashback on purchases, and virtual credit cards. It’s a robust alternative for those seeking the convenience of a prepaid card within the domestic Canadian market.

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Online Banking

Revolut’s online banking platform is a digital-centric solution designed to streamline financial management. It provides a range of features such as instant account setup, budget setting, and real-time spending tracking. Users can securely conduct financial operations from their smartphone, making banking as simple as a few taps on the screen.

Our Favourite Alternative For Canadians: EQ Bank

EQ Bank is a digital-only bank in Canada that stands as a formidable alternative to Revolut’s online banking service. It offers a range of services, including high-interest savings accounts, GICs and a free prepaid card that you can use to spend money from your high interest savings account. With no monthly fees and an easy-to-use mobile app, EQ Bank provides a strong online banking experience tailored to the needs of the Canadian market.

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International Money Transfers

Revolut’s international money transfer feature enables customers to send money abroad quickly and at low cost. It supports transfers in over 25 currencies at the interbank exchange rate, making it a powerful tool for those who frequently conduct cross-border transactions.

Our Favourite Alternative For Canadians: Wise

Wise is an established player in the international money transfer sector and a fitting alternative for Canadians. It offers transfers to more than 160 countries in no less than 40 currencies using the real exchange rate. The platform is known for its speed and ease of use, often enabling transfers to be completed more swiftly than with traditional banks.

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Trading Stocks and Crypto

Revolut offers users the ability to trade stocks and cryptocurrencies. With Revolut, customers in certain regions can engage in commission-free stock trading, and buy, hold, and sell a range of cryptocurrencies. It democratizes investing by lowering the barriers to entry, allowing more people to participate in these markets.

Our Favourite Alternative For Canadians: Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade is Canada’s first commission-free trading platform, allowing users to buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs on major Canadian and U.S. exchanges without paying any trading fees. In addition, it permits users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies within the same platform. Its easy-to-use interface and lack of minimum account size make Wealthsimple Trade a strong alternative for Canadian residents.

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A little historic of Revolut

Revolut, the UK-based fintech platform, first burst onto the financial scene in 2015. Founded by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the company aimed to shatter traditional banking confines by delivering a digital-first banking experience. Its goal was to eliminate the exorbitant fees often associated with international money transfers and carve a niche for itself in the world of finance.

Beginning as a digital prepaid card provider with an integrated currency exchange feature, Revolut soon extended its services. Over the years, it introduced innovative features such as budgeting tools, peer-to-peer payments, and even opportunities to trade in cryptocurrencies and stocks.

Revolut’s rapid expansion and array of services attracted a substantial user base, allowing the company to broaden its horizons beyond Europe. The company’s aggressive growth strategy resulted in an impressive user base, and by 2023, it had acquired 30 million customers worldwide.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while Revolut’s exit from the Canadian market has been a setback for those who anticipated using its unique and multi-faceted platform, it has also paved the way for a deeper exploration of Canada’s homegrown fintech alternatives. Services like KOHO, EQ Bank, Wise, and Wealthsimple Trade rise to the occasion, filling the gap left by Revolut with robust and tailored solutions.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications